Why does Upwork reject my profile immediately after submission?
“We’ve reviewed the updated skills and experience you added to your profile. Unfortunately, our marketplace does not have opportunities for you based on your combination of skills and experience and we will not be able to accept your registration. We thank you for your interest.”
Does the message above sound familiar? Have you had your Upwork profile rejected? Maybe, maybe not. If you haven’t experienced this, wait for it, it’s coming.
Newbie: You are psyched up, your heart is racing for the new opportunities that await you. You’ve seen how your friends are making some decent income. Hiding away during the day and night, leading a nocturnal life.
This is not some Illuminati, drug peddling or thug life that leaves neighbors wondering what you do, it is working online and since you are a newbie you want to jump onto the wagon.
It pains me that instant Upwork profile rejection has become the norm with newbies not getting a chance to showcase their skills. Newbies are in panic mode. I feel so sorry for y’all newbies. I really do.
Allow me to decipher what is going on.
Upwork is by far one of the best freelancing sites with awesome monetary returns for skilled freelancers all over the world.
I believe the number of newbies signing up is in the thousands if not hundreds of thousands per month. This in mind, Upwork started limiting the number of freelancers signing up by the use of bots – ever heard of some automated forms of artificial intelligence – Welcome to the new world.
To cut the long story short, profiles of new freelancers are going through some rigorous review by either bots or Upwork Support (that is just happy to reject new profiles) but mostly by bots.
I am almost getting to the solutions but I cannot do that without letting you into what motivates me, cheese.
Have you ever read or listened to the book, Who moved my cheese? I love the audio version of it. Upwork for freelancers has become some sort of “cheese” with recent price changes and of course this profile rejection “thingy”.
Times are changing and we must adapt to the changes that are encroaching on this awesome platform.
What is the way forward?
I would like to point out that some of the methods below are ethical while some violate the terms and conditions of Upwork. I am not liable for any “Upwork Wrath” that befalls you if you result in the Grey Hat method discussed here.
Let’s dive in:
A. White Hat Methods:
This focuses on getting your profile approved legally by either completing your profile in its entirety, getting a client to hire you, joining an agency or contacting support to help you fix the mess.
- Ensure that for any new account you sign up for (you are only required to own one freelance account)- complete the profile to its entirety before submitting it. Why? The minute the bots they have in place detect your profile is incomplete, it will never ever be accepted by the automated system. Here are some Tips and Tricks to creating a client converting Upwork Profile.
- Contact Upwork Help and Support if you believe that your profile is complete and they will sort out the issue – I am not sure if they approve profiles after they have been rejected by bots but I believe they do.
- Get a client that is already on Upwork, to hire you and your profile will almost automatically get approved. – Remember the bots I mentioned – they will auto-approve your profile once this is done.
- Once your profile is rejected the first time probably due to incompleteness, give yourself at least 2 weeks, populating your profile with relevant content i.e. writing a rock-solid overview, taking relevant skills test with a bias for English tests (clients want freelancers that will read, communicate and understand their requirements), add relevant portfolio samples (my recommendation is at least 5–10 samples) before resubmitting the profile. I have noticed that once you give your profile time to populate it, it gets accepted the next time you re-submit for review.
- Join an already existing Agency – This works instantly and personally I would recommend that veteran freelancers set up agencies on Upwork and then let newbie freelancers join them, only when they believe that the freelancers are skilled enough to avoid under-cooked skills for clients all over. Getting a client to hire you or joining an agency is recommended by Upwork as one of the ways to get new profiles accepted. This would be your best shot to having Upwork registration accepted.
B. Grey Hat Methods:
I call these grey hat tactics because they violate the rules are regulations of Upwork and their Terms and conditions and involve submitting fake information just to get your profile accepted and then you revert to what you wanted your profile to be.
I would not try this. I do not advocate for this. It is what it is. Please read Upwork’s Terms and Conditions before trying out any method discussed below.
- Enter your sign up location to that of a freelancer from an English Speaking Country (Native Speaker) – Upwork is getting biased with the freelance pool that is being accepted on their platform and this is limiting freelancers from English as a Second language countries. This is something that I have seen newbies use with Instant results.
- Create a profile with the In-demand skills as pointed out by Upwork. This should work as they are encouraging more freelancers not to sign up with flooded skills set e.g. writing, data entry, etc. Once your profile is accepted, revert to what you wanted your profile to be in the first place.
Disclaimer: I do not advocate for any of the Grey hat methods indicated. I am straight but when our “cheese” is moved, we must adapt.
The path to getting any new profiles accepted on Upwork is tortuous but doable. Apply whatever method you feel works for you and if you need further insights, I have some content/videos that can help you kickstart your roadmap to Upwork success.
Do you have any more solutions to the problems that freelancers are running into on Upwork? Let us know in the comments below.